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James Cameron: Avatar 2 Needs To Make More Than US$2 Billion To Break Even

In James Cameron's own words, Avatar: The Way of Water was "very f***king expensive" to make.


James Cameron says Avatar: The Way of Water will have to be the "third or fourth highest-grossing film in history" just to break even.

In an interview with GQ,  Cameron, 68, admits the highly-anticipated follow-up to 2009's Avatar was "very f******" expensive" to make, and he has described the sequel as the "worst business case in movie history".

Speaking about how the film could be profitable, he said: "You have to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history.

"That’s your threshold. That’s your break even."

The four Avatar sequels have an expected budget of around US$1 billion (S$1.4 bil).

In the interview, Cameron admitted he is drawn to "difficult" projects.

"I like difficult. I’m attracted by difficult. Difficult is a f****** magnet for me. I go straight to difficult," he explained. 

"And I think it probably goes back to this idea that there are lots of smart, really gifted, really talented filmmakers out there that just can’t do the difficult stuff.

"So that gives me a tactical edge to do something nobody else has ever seen, because the really gifted people don’t f****** want to do it."


According to Variety, the original Avatar is the highest-grossing movie worldwide (unadjusted for inflation), with US$2.9 billion. It's trailed by Avengers: Endgame with US$2.7 billion and Titanic with US$2.1 billion.

To break even, The Way of Water has to make more than Star Wars: The Force Awakens' US$2.07 billion (fourth place) or Avengers: Infinity War's US$2.05 billion (fifth place). 

Earlier this month, Cameron expressed concerns that The Way of Water might not pull in the crowds. 

He told Total Film: "The market could be telling us we’re done in three months, or we might be semi-done, meaning, 'Okay, let’s complete the story within movie three, and not go on endlessly,' if it’s just not profitable.

"We’re in a different world now than we were when I wrote this stuff, even.

"It’s the one-two punch — the pandemic and streaming. Or, conversely, maybe we’ll remind people what going to the theatre is all about. This film definitely does that. The question is, 'How many people give a s*** now?' "

Avatar: The Way of Water opens in cinemas on Dec 15. 



Photos: TPG News/Click Photos

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